By Amine Rahal, entrepreneur and writer. Amine is the CEO of IronMonk, a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and CMO at Regal Assets, an IRA company.
As communication professionals, it’s our job to get our message across fast. In today’s attention economy, every second matters.
Enter infographics. They’re the perfect solution for a marketer who knows what little time they have to send an impactful message.
In fact, nearly 56% of marketers depend on visuals in marketing. What’s more, 40% percent of marketers say that graphics like infographics and illustrations actually perform best. Infographic use is on the rise. In 2018, 63.5% of surveyed companies said that “between 75 and 100% of their content contained visuals.” Only one year later, 74% of companies now rely on visual data marketing — an increase of 10.5%!
See what I mean? Wouldn’t it be better to compile these statistics in a clean, crisp infographic, instead of listing in long form? Nowadays, we engage with visual content. We can process enormous amounts of data through our eyes and can synthesize data into meaningful knowledge much faster via visual processes than reading line by line.
As the CEO of a digital marketing agency, I understand the value of visual assets. They can make or break a marketing campaign. In this guide, I’ll unpack my method for creating eye-catching infographics for clients that lead to conversions on your blog, website or social media.
Infographics 101: The Anatomy
You can’t slap a bunch of statistics in a colorful flowchart and pass it off as an infographic. For an infographic to be effective, it must adhere to basic principles of logic and design.
• The Skeleton: An infographic should be arranged like a flowchart that follows a logical progression from the first data point to the last. Each node, or statistic, on the flowchart represents the “bones” of your infographic. Make sure the bones make up a full skeleton — or, in other words, that they form a coherent, connected structure.
• The Color Scheme: Keep it simple. Select two or three colors that belong to your brand. Keep related data points and statistics framed within the same color, and keep your data organized by color to make it easier to navigate.
• Theme Graphics: Graphics and clip art related to the theme of your infographic communicate the general topic of your infographic at first glance (e.g., a graphic of a clock represents to the reader that the data has to do with time or efficiency).
• Reference Graphics: These are optional graphics and icons that can stand in for words or text to render the infographic more visually appealing and less textually cluttered.
• Data: Research and data belong in every infographic, and I like to strive for a 1-1 ratio of hard data to visuals. This also includes a citations section (usually at the bottom) that lists the peer-reviewed source of each data point.
Create A Winning Infographic Using The SIDD Method
The SIDD method is a formula I came up with early in my career to describe a four-stage infographic creation process: strategy, ideation, design and distribution. By following these four steps, you can lay the groundwork for an infographic that converts.
Don’t start by jumping right into the design process. Start by conceptualizing a strategy. Ask yourself a few questions that will guide the creation of the copy, layout and messaging:
• Who are you trying to reach?
• What’s your ultimate goal?
• How does it fit into your long-term marketing goals?
• What do you need to hit your goal?
• What determines its success?
I like going over these questions with my clients because it sets the stage for the rest of the project. Once you understand your audience and your goals, you can suit the project’s tone, KPIs and scale to match.
Your infographic can be silly, educational, artistic or minimalist. It’s up to you to choose a style, tone and theme that match your intended audience. At this stage, map out what you want to communicate in each individual graphic.
Do you want to illustrate a workflow or business process? Start constructing a flowchart. Maybe you want to compare two or more concepts (e.g., beer vs. wine). In this case, you’re better off mapping out a tree with two discrete, color-coordinated branches for each subtopic.
Break your infographic into “chapters” or sections of the story. Label each of them. This will help give your infographic a logical sequence and structure. Each section should have a defined purpose and communicate a distinct piece of the overall story for your audience.
You can either outsource the design process or tackle the project head-on using software like Canva, Adobe Illustrator or even Microsoft PowerPoint.
Whether you team up with a designer or go it alone, it’s important that you garner constructive feedback on design or text elements that need changing. Once your infographic is thoroughly revised, share it in high resolution across your social media channels and blog posts.
For extra exposure, don’t hesitate to share the infographic on social platforms like Reddit and Imgur to see if relevant communities might be interested in it.
At the bottom, include a call to action (CTA). The CTA prompts further engagement with your brand and is the key to conversion success. Experiment with several CTAs and A/B test them. Use enticing language to persuade the reader to visit your website, join your mailing list or follow your socials to find more relevant, valuable information.
Putting It All Together
People love having complex concepts explained quickly, and infographics are one of the best tools for that job. I recommend including infographics in as much content as possible and cross-posting them widely between socials and static blog articles.
Infographics can bring blog posts to life or accompany video content, and they are perfect for social media distribution. Given their strong potential to go viral, savvy marketers would be remiss not to embrace infographics. By following the SIDD method, you can get started integrating these shareable assets into your content marketing strategy today.